Candidates digesting Nanaimo byelection results

Candidates digesting Nanaimo byelection results

WATCH: They were cleaning up campaign posters and assessing the results of the Nanaimo byelection on Thursday. After Wednesday’s results, it was a way for the NDP to celebrate a strong showing, the Liberals to enjoy a solid second place, and the Greens to wonder what went wrong. In the end, the BC NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson prevailed, beating the Liberals candidate Tony Harris but the Greens support collapsed, with Michele Ney getting just seven per cent of the votes. Kendall Hanson has more.

It was all smiles Thursday morning as the BC NDP team dismantled Sheila Malcolmson’s headquarters following a successful byelection win.

“It’s a lot better doing this when you win,” says John Little, an NDP volunteer as he pulls apart some campaign signs.

Last night, NDP faithful were in a party mood after candidate Sheila Malcolmson stormed to victory.

“It is such a thrill to be here. Apparently, governments don’t often win byelections,” said Premier John Horgan in his address to party supporters on Wednesday night.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Malcolmson on Wednesday. “Starting tomorrow we are building affordable housing. We are expanding childcare.”

The byelection results were bittersweet for the BC Liberals.

Liberal Candidate Tony Harris had a better showing than any of the party’s candidates in Nanaimo since 2001, but there had been hope the party could pull off a big upset.

“We need to challenge this government of the day to not forget about this place because we’re growing and we’re important and we mean something,” said Harris after the loss. “I think we’ve really put Nanaimo on the map this past month and a half and I’m just so proud of it.”

Wednesday’s vote had BC Green Party candidate Michele Ney feeling blue today.

After a strong showing in 2017, the party took only 7 per cent of the vote, their worst result in Nanaimo since 1996.

“I’m disappointed and if I was truly honest I’m feeling a bit angry,” said Ney. “The anger comes from the fear that was embedded into the grassroots of the door knocking.”

Ney says many voters were told a vote for the Greens, instead of the NDP, would’ve led to a Liberal win.

In the end, voters in a longtime NDP stronghold stuck to tradition, but it will leave all parties with a lot to consider in the coming months.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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